AMBITOUS plans to transform Kingshurst Village centre have cleared another hurdle.
Solihull Councillors were updated on the project at a cabinet meeting on Thursday (December 3) and permission was given for the council to progress to the Compulsory Purchase (CPO) phase – a legal right to buy or take over land – if needed.
In September outline plans to develop the area were given the green light.
Under current plans the area would see up to 86 new homes, an improved road layout linking the village centre to the surrounding area, as well as open green space and a wide footpath linking Kingshurst Park to the school.
The plans also show shop units and health and community assets including a purpose-built GP surgery, pharmacy, dentist and community space.
Discussing the scheme at Cabinet, Councillors heard how those delivering the project plan to develop new buildings to exemplar standards in terms of flexibility, environmental performance and energy efficiency.
The site earmarked for regeneration is complex, with property held by a range of different land owners.
Using vital funding secured from the West Midlands Combined Authority the Council has been working to acquire all of the properties and land interests within the village centre in order to redevelop the whole site.
The council say this has been one of the biggest barriers to the development of Kingshurst so far, and it is one of the reasons it has taken longer to progress this scheme than other similar projects in the borough.
Working alongside local residents and business owners, good progress has already been made in acquiring the necessary land without the need to use CPO powers.
However, approval to use CPO powers will allow the Council to take the next step forward in taking control of the entire site, ensuring the wholescale redevelopment of Kingshurst can be delivered.
The timetable for work to begin is still being reviewed but it is expected that the main construction will commence in Summer 2022.
Advice and support will be made available to Solihull Community Housing residents directly affected by the scheme, about moving either permanently or temporarily next year, well in advance of construction works.
Housing officers will be able to help explain the process and, where necessary, provide support in finding alternative accommodation.
With Outline Planning Permission granted, the scheme is now moving into the detailed design phase of the masterplan with further community engagement activity planned in the new year.
Councillor Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council said: “This scheme represents a once in a generation opportunity to create a high quality, well integrated, community focussed new centre at the heart of a Kingshurst with sustainable low energy homes that are adaptable to changing needs.
“The decision brings us one step closer to realising this exciting vision.”